- Amazon uses third-party seller data to copy the site’s most popular products, an antitrust report by the House Judiciary Committee alleged on Wednesday.
- Former Amazon sellers told an antitrust subcommittee the company released new products almost identical to their own and “killed” their sales.
- Amazon has denied accusations of this behavior in the past.
- “We have a policy against using seller-specific data to aid our private-label business,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in July.
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The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee said it has uncovered evidence that Amazon uses detailed data from third-party sellers to copy popular products and push some sellers out of business — something the tech giant has consistently denied.
The subcommittee said it had heard “repeated” concerns from both former employees and third-party sellers that Amazon uses seller data to either copy products or source the product directly from the manufacturer. It then sells it direct to consumers, according to the subcommittee’s findings.
“We have heard so many heartbreaking stories of small businesses who sunk significant time and resources into building a business and selling on Amazon, only to have Amazon poach their best-selling items and drive them out of business,” the subcommittee’s chairman David Cicilline said.
The findings formed part of a wide-ranging antitrust report on Big Tech companies, including Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook.
One former Amazon employee who spoke to the committee compared access to third-party seller data to a “candy shop.”
“Everyone can have access to anything they want,” they said. Employees even use this data to set up their own successful third-party accounts, the Democratic leaders of the committee wrote in their report on Wednesday.
Similar accusations have mounted over the past 15 months, but Amazon has adamantly denied using third-party seller data in this way.